You both said "I DO"
What about the Do's & Don't for the Ceremony?
The very first and most important rule is: That there are no rules!!
Who said all weddings need to be the same?? What is traditional nowadays??
Just as people and couples are unique, so are weddings!
Yes, in most there will be rings, vows and a kiss (or more!)
So when inquiring about vendor pricing, be specific what you would like to do as some couples are o.k with a 10 minutes ceremony but others want a 30 minutes or more. Most vendors have packages based on time contracted/needed.
You got engaged and started planing the wedding; you are interviewing vendors and choosing the ones that fit your budget and/or because they offered what you needed/wanted.
I have seen pros that know exactly what they are doing and they just started in the business and others with years of experience that just don't meet the expectations.
Many couples may think that more expensive means better, not necessarily. Sometimes, you may just pay for a brand, and that doesn't mean is good or even better.
In the wedding industry, there is a little bit of everything, just like in any business.
I'm sometimes asked what is the difference between my package that costs X versus another vendor that is 3 times more.
My answer: hopefully they have a higher college degree, have extensive hospitality experience, outstanding reviews and that they give the couple a Tiffany & Co. pen to keep and to sign the marriage license.
And well, I sometimes I may say I will take the 3 times the money if that makes them feel better! :-)
So the reality is that each vendor and business has their own strategy, meaning there is a wide selection to choose from.
Ask questions, many indeed! Interview more than 2 in each category, check their reviews and what makes them stand out from the rest so you can see if therey are a good match for you.
The key to any great vendor: Professionalism, they have to enjoy what they do and be passionate about their work.
YOU HIRED PROS
I know you want to be part of everything, and you are!
But if you hired them, it was for you not to need to do it and worry about it.
I know maybe the Bridezilla or Groomzilla wants to come out and if you think is needed, go for it!
But the day of the wedding, she/he should be off in "Zilla's land" :-)
You have paid all of that money to the vendors, so let them do their job and work for their earned money.
If you hired the right pros, everything will be great, relax and enjoy.
And if one is not meeting the expectations, ask another pro to help, most of us help each other out even before the couple realizes it...team work!
Sometimes, when the couple wants everything to go perfect but they are micro managing everything, they may not let the pros do their "thing" and everything may not go perfect. TRUST and HAVE FUN.
If your venue does not provide a coordinator, hiring one is A MUST for formal affairs. Experience and personality will make a difference here. You need someone who is "quick thinking" that can give a solution on the spot but also to remain calm and to reassure everything is under control.
Maintain communication with your vendors up to the day before if needed.
DJ means Disk Jockey, nowadays everything is a click in a PC, ask if they also do entertainment during the reception and for music to constantly play, except when is not stated by the couple. Microphone for the ceremony should be included in the service fee.
Ask your photographer if they do photo journalism or portraits and how many photos you will get.
Someone once told me they paid almost $5,000 and got 200 photos for a 12hrs package, crazy right!?
I personally say "keep the shooter on" so you can later choose the "right" photo. Sometimes they may focus only in portraits because they can control the subjects, but a grandma tearing up is priceless.
Did you see Kate & Williams' wedding? The Royals and their protocols!!
Of course so many things are constantly changing, "trending" and most are simply adjusting to the new times.
Some of the 200+ years old etiquette are obsolete and others will always stay, simply because they are traditions inked on society's code or because it is the right thing to do:
Be clear about RSVP, it will help you control cost and communicate with your venue/catering company.
If you know your guests are always tardy and show up 1-2 hrs late to family events, send them an email reminder the night before. Remember your vendors may be hired per hour, so time is expensive!
Yes, it is YOUR wedding and you did hire vendors, but everyone should still treat each other with respect and kindness. A wedding is only a 1 day affair but impressions can last a lifetime.
Keep your guests comfortable! While you are waiting for the ceremony to start comfortably with A/C, if your ceremony is outside, make sure cold drinks and shelter/shade is available. Special accommodations should be made for elderly, young children and anyone with a medical condition.
If you don't want children disrupting the ceremony but still want them to attend, ask a ceremony attendant to ask their parents to be seated in the last few rows for easy access to leave if necessary.
For Very Formal weddings or Black Tie, children are not invited.
Do explicitly write the dress code of the wedding: Casual, Business Casual, Semi Formal, Business or Black Tie.
If you don't mind people wearing jeans next to someone in a suit in your photos, don't worry about this!
Have food/snacks and refreshments for you and the bridal party, it is a long day!
At some point during the wedding, make sure you spend time with each guest and thank them for coming.
Keep your guests entertained while you are taking photos after the ceremony, that's what cocktail hour is for!!Drinks/food are available until photos are done or while the room is set up for the reception.
ETIQUETTE FOR GUESTS
So you got invited to a wedding? That it is so fun!!
There will be food, drinks, music and the best opportunity to meet people!
If you are single, maybe a new "friend" and if you are married, maybe a new "sitter".
Sure, I see opportunity in everything, I'm a business owner and a very friendly person.
But I still don't know why people show up to a wedding like it is going to be a torture, well, maybe if you haven't attend one of my ceremonies ;-) I get it, you may think it is going to be 1hr+ long, and someone with no emotions on their tone of voice will make you fall sleep.
But since you were "invited" and the couple could have saved some big $ and shorten their guest list, least you can do is not only to attend but also to do it happily...like you are going to a party, because you really are!
Don't worry! You can leave at any time, the couple will not guest-nap you, I promise.
While you are at the wedding:
Arrive on time. If you can't make it before the start time, enter the room quietly and seat in the back rows. NEVER WALK THROUGH THE AISLE.
Your cell phone should remain in silence and in your purse/pocket, unless you are a doctor ;-)
You came to a party! Enjoy it and have fun because no one else can have fun for you!
Everything else can wait so enjoy the moment!
You will see someone with a big camera taking photos...stay clear and let them do their job. Photographers are extremely expensive and will capture those memories for the couple. If the ceremony is unplugged, no photos!
If you don't have children or didn't arrive late, don't have to seat in the back! I will not ask you questions during the ceremony, I promise ;-) Move forward.
Mingle!! Others guests may feel just like you, you are in the same boat. You all will be spending few hours together, better start talking when seating before you realize you were seated together at the reception.
A wedding is a social event...let's get social, real people to people interaction.
If you have attended a ceremony where I have officiated, you know what I do :-)
THE DAY OF
So the big day has arrived!! Hopefully you or the bridal party didn't eat that exotic meal the night before or raw fish, so everyone can make it :-)
Follow a timeline so everything can stay as much as planned as possible but take it easy! No matter how much planning and effort, there will be things you will not be able to control...like a out of nowhere wind blow 20 minutes before your outdoor wedding and everything has to be moved inside. Things happen and is part of life: Remember, life goes on. Really. What matters is what we do about it and the memories we create.
I know you may be anxious, nervous, stressed and well, sometimes I see people running like headless chickens but is all part of the fun of a wedding...just enjoy all of it...A L L.
If your ceremony is at 5pm, you don't need to start getting ready at 5am, really, you don't. My best advise is bridesmaids first and bride last, only the couple will be in every single photo so hair and make up can stay fresh.
If the bride starts getting ready at 10am, the groom can easily start at 1pm! Create a timeline according to real times needed for the both of you.
Because it is a long day, here is the crucial part that unfortunately I see often: I arrive at the venue and because there were so many hours of make up, hair and photos, the couple is now tired and "ready to be over with".
Talk to your vendors so times can be used efficiently. You shouldn't be waiting more than 1hr before the ceremony starts, let's keep it fun!! If your venue ask you to arrive ready at 10am for a 5pm ceremony, I will revise the timeline. That's the time you should start getting ready. Don't be shy to ask, if this is your first time getting married,
ask someone who went through this so they can share their thoughts.
Stay hydrated and eat, it is a loooooong day!
If you will take photos during the cocktail hour, ask for hors d'oeuvres to be available for you during the photo session and a designated bartender to bring you drinks, you pay for it...enjoy it!!
Go easy on the alcohol. There are plenty hours ahead to kill that bottle of Jack, you don't want to get sick and miss the party...YOUR party (a very expensive one)
Listen to your favorite music and add some upbeat songs!! While you are getting ready, during the ceremony and while taking photos-especially here. How boring it is to "pretend" you are having fun when you are told "smile", but if you listen to something catchy, I guarantee you, you will be singing and dancing and having fun and it will show in the photos. This is a MUST. I know, no one never thinks about this...you're welcome! ;-)
And lastly, if you wrote your own vows...watch this video.
Yes, I know, you will be nervous, so when you are ready to read them, you will remember this, smile, relax and put the emotion into it..avoid the zombie like ;-)
Hopefully this information was helpful, don't hesitate to ask me
Have a fun wedding!
Let's talk about wedding etiquette and everything in between!
I have the privilege to perform ceremonies for couples all around the world, so I have witnessed different traditions, languages, what is appropriate in some cultures and what is forbidden in others.
But there are some things, some unplanned but most are unprepared that come across in any wedding, regardless of the specific latitude or longitude.
Some are funny, others are cute and you definitely Do want to keep those as part of your wedding and because let's face it: Life is unpredictable.
When it comes to a wedding, we can pretty much predict a lot of things that will happen: Some tears, laughs, funny dance moves, kisses, hugs and my favorites: guests very happy for the couple.
All of these are memorable and what makes us all equal at the end.
But what about all of those things that could have been predicted or avoided? Like you wished someone mentioned it.
These are some of the DO'S & DON'TS that I've seen or experienced.
Will the wedding ceremony be ruined because of this? Absolutely not! But knowing this ahead or planning accordingly, will make the day go smoother, happier and with less hiccups for the couple, your vendors and your guests, so you can stress less.
Remember: A Marriage is solemnized in a wedding and my wish is that yours last many many years.
A Wedding is a party and a 1 day event!! Let's have fun!!
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